Skip to main content
6:00 pm
09/13/12 09/13/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people. >> as the u.s. mourns the death of it was a massacre to libya christopher stevens, demonstrators in yemen stormed the u.s. embassy there, protesting an american-made
6:01 pm
film than a credit me profit mohammed. we will go to yemen and egypt where protests have entered a third day. then to one of the world's leading islamic scholars, tariq ramadan on "islam and the arab awakening." >> if you look at the situation in tunisia and egypt, corruption, poverty, unemployment -- many people who were visiting egypt are dealing with the media saying, there is something not going right. the situation is very bad. we knew something could happen. >> as new census figures show 46,000 americans -- millions of americans are in poverty, we will speak with tavis smiley and cornel west. >> inequality, the top 1% got 93% of income in 2010. income. wealth.
6:02 pm
that is morally obscene. it is an ethical abomination. >> all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. protests are spreading in the middle east over u.s. made film considered blasphemous to islam. earlier today hundreds of yemeni demonstrators stormed the u.s. embassy in sanaa, smashing windows and burning cars before breaking through the compound's main gate. protests have also occurred in other countries including egypt, iraq, iran, tunisia, and bangladesh as well as the gaza strip. in cairo, at least 13 demonstrators were injured today outside the u.s. embassy. police reportedly used tear gas to disperse the protesters after they threw stones and molotov cocktails. the protests follow tuesday night's storming of the was consulate in the libyan city of benghazi that left the u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three staffers dead.
6:03 pm
on wednesday, president obama vowed to bring to justice those responsible for the killings, which he said would not repeat ties between u.s. and libya. >> we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. none. the world must stand at a to unequivocally reject these brutal acts. already, many libyans have joined us in doing so. this attack will not break the bonds between u.s. and libya. >> the obama administration has dispatched an elite group of marines to the libyan capital of tripoli and six u.s. warships toward the libyan coast in a bid to ramp up security of u.s. personnel. we'll have more on the protests throughout the middle east after the headlines. the response to the deadly attack in libya has entered the presidential campaign after republican nominee mitt romney is the tragedy to attack president obama.
6:04 pm
hours before the protests erupted in cairo and benghazi, the u.s. embassy in cairo issued a statement attempting to diffuse anger over the anti- muslim film in question, saying -- that was before the libya attack had taken place. in a stay released tuesday night, romney's campaign took aim at obama and made it appear the embassy's comments had followed the attacks. "it's's campaign said -- disgraceful the obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks." asked about the comments the following day, romney stood firm. >> the of ministration was wrong to sympathize with those who had breached our embassy in egypt, instead of condemning their actions. it is never too early for the u.s. government to condemn
6:05 pm
attacks on americans and to defend our values. simply put, having an embassy which has been breached and has protesters on its grounds, having that embassy reiterate a statement effectively apologizing for the right of free speech is not the right course for an administration. >> in response to romney, president obama told cbs news his republican challenger is prone to making rash comments. >> there is a broader lesson. governor romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first, aim later. as president, i have learned you cannot do that. it is important for you to make sure the statements you make are backed up by the facts, they have got to the ramifications. >> do you think it was irresponsible? >> i will let the american people decide. >> the census bureau reports the
6:06 pm
richest americans increased their share of total walk by 4.9% while the median income reached its lowest level since 1995. some 46.2 million americans are classified as living in poverty. the census also shows the number of uninsured in the u.s. dropped for the first time in three years, with 1.3 million people obtaining insurance. a federal judge has affirmed an earlier ruling blocking a controversial statute that gave the government power to indefinitely detain anyone it considered a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. judge katherine forrest issued a preliminary injunction against a provision in the national defense authorization act or ndaa earlier this year. on wednesday, the judge made her ruling permanent, declaring the ndaa cannot be used to hold people in indefinite military detention on suspicion of having substantially supported a credit or its allies. the decision marked a major
6:07 pm
victory for the group of journalists, scholars, and political activists who have brought the case, arguing the provision was so broad it could easily infringe on freedom of speech. to hear our interview with one of those journalists, chris hedges, go to meanwhile on capitol hill, the republican controlled house has voted to extend a separate statute allowing warrantless government surveillance. with the fisa amendments act set to expire the end of 2012, the house voted wednesday to extend it for five years. democratic congressmember jerrold nadler of new york criticized the measure. >> want is a proper for the government to gather foreign intelligence and while some degree of secrecy is necessary, it is also vital in a free society with a much government, protect the constitutional rights of americans here and abroad, and limit or less spying to genuine intelligence. we've seen repeatedly how even
6:08 pm
the minimal restraint congress put on fisa violated. we should address those abuses. congress has an obligation to exert more control over spy agencies than simply to give them a blank check for another five years. >> public school teachers in chicago are continuing their historic strike for a fourth day. wednesday, thousands of teachers and supporters rallied outside three local schools and it's the protest union leaders and school officials appeared to be making progress toward an agreement that would in the strike. chicago teachers union president karen lewis emerged from negotiations late wednesday night sensuous "very happy" the status of the talks over teacher and valuations. other issues include the recall process for teachers laid off due to school closings, consolidations and turnarounds. teachers in a nearby area of lake forest launched a strike of their own wednesday after failing to reach a deal over salaries and benefits. also wednesday, seiu local 1
6:09 pm
announced chicago janitors would stage a one-day solidarity strike with the chicago teachers. >> our members have reached out and said they would like to honor the picket lines. with a 48 hour notice in our contracts. local 1 members, janitors, very well may stand in solidarity. >> and florida, voters purged from the rolls after the or mistakenly labeled as noncitizens will have their voting rights restored in time for the november election. earlier this year, florida officials under republican governor rick scott created a list of supposed non-citizens who would be barred from voting unless they proved their citizenship within 30 days. at least two counties removed voters because they did not respond to certified letters and newspaper ads. on wednesday, ford announced it had used a federal immigration database to identify 207 voters
6:10 pm
who are not citizens. that is compared to the initial claim of 2600. the state has also reached an agreement with voting rights groups that had challenged the purge, saying it unfairly targeted latinos. under the settlement, florida officials agreed to inform the more than 2000 eligible voters mistakenly placed on the purge list that they are in fact eligible to vote. president obama reportedly has held a one our telephone conversation with the easterly point -- israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. earlier this big, netanyahu said the u.s. has no moral right to tell israel not to launch an attack and demanded that obama impose redlines read in washington, victoria nuland refused to directly respond to the comments by netanyahu. >> i'm not going to comment today on prime minister netanyahu's statements, but as we said yesterday, we are in
6:11 pm
continuous consultation with the government of israel, with our allies there on what we're seeing in iran, on the path forward, and we will continue to do so. we do not think it is particularly useful to have those conversations in public. it does not help the process or the integrity of the diplomacy. >> with and three of the people have died in a pair of factory fires in pakistan -- more than 300 people have died in a pair of factory fires in pakistan. the deadliest of the fires was in karachi, where around 250 people died in a garment factory. it lacked emergency exits and basic safety equipment including alarms and sprinklers. it was one of the deadliest industrial accidents in pakistan's history. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world.
6:12 pm
violent protests continue in the middle east over an american made film considered blasphemous to islam. earlier today, hundreds of yemeni protesters stormed the u.s. embassy in sanaa. the protesters smashed windows of the security offices outside the embassy and burned cars before breaking through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound. some demonstrators scaled a wall of the embassy while other set fires just outside the compound. at least 16 demonstrators were injured earlier today outside the u.s. embassy in cairo. police reportedly used tear gas to disperse the protesters after they threw stones and petrol bombs to the embassy. the protests in yemen and egypt follow tuesday night's storming of the united states consulate in the libyan city of benghazi. the u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other staff members were killed in the attack. stevens is the first u.s. ambassador to be killed on duty since 1979. on wednesday, president obama vowed to bring to justice those
6:13 pm
responsible for the deaths in libya. >> the united states condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. we are working with the government of libya to secure our diplomats and have directed my administration to increase security at posts around the world. make no mistake, we will work with the libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attack our people. >> the obama administration has dispatched an elite group of marines to the libyan capital of tripoli. in addition, two u.s. warships are reportedly headed towards the libyan coast and the u.s. has redeployed surveillance drones over libya. protests against them have also occurred in iraq, iran, tunisia, and bangladesh. >> at the center of the controversy is an online trailer for a low-budget film called "the innocence of muslims." initial reports said the film was directed by an israeli real-
6:14 pm
estate developer living in california named sam bacile, but questions have arisen over whether such a person even exists. one person known to be directly involved in the film is a coptic christian living in california named nakoula basseley nakoula. we're going to begin today's shown yemen with iona craig, a journalist for the times of london based in sanaa. can you tell us what is happening outside the u.s. embassy in sanaa right now? >> the situation now [indiscernible] protesters marched on the u.s. embassy early this morning. they managed to reach inside the compound itself, burning vehicles and u.s. flags.
6:15 pm
when i was there, shots were being fired by the yemeni security forces to disperse the crowd, but they were burning tires and chanting outside the u.s. embassy building. >> the press reports here say the demonstrators eventually were rebuffed or expelled from the embassy grounds? >> yes, that is correct. there are three approach roads up to the embassy building, and there were being pushed back on these concrete blocks in order to secure the area around the embassy building itself. when i was there, i did see protesters tried to breach that. [indiscernible]
6:16 pm
>> iona craig, can you tell us what is the complaint of these protesters? is this film that supposedly was made in california, is this the root of these protests? >> of the people have spoken to -- all of the people i've spoken to and the chanting going on is related to this town. saying it is blasphemy. they're calling for the death of the filmmaker. they said they would not leave until the americans left. they want to see the u.s. embassy closed as a result of this. i have to say, i did not see anyone who had actually seen the film posted on youtube, but have heard about it. [indiscernible] >> there was a drone attack
6:17 pm
supposedly that killed the no. 2 and al qaeda.di a yemeni man took credit for this attack. it is not clear exactly what happened. was the issue of the drone attack raised as well? >> all of the people i asked, there is no relationship between that. nobody mentioned the issue of drones or the killing of the no. 2 man. or even an attack to ago that killed 13 civilians. all of the people i've spoken to, it is related to this town. film.
6:18 pm
[indiscernible] the people i spoke to said there were specifically there in retaliation to this film sank it is an assault on mohamed >> iona craig is an english journalist based in sanaa, editor at "the yemen times" and "the times of london." returned to cairo rick sharif abdel kouddous is in the egyptian capital. can you talk about what is happening outside of the u.s. embassy in cairo? >> i just came back from the protest there. there's continuing clashes with police that spilled over into tahrir square. u.s. embassy is just a couple of hundred yards from tahrir square, the epicenter of the revolution here in egypt. there are continuing tear gas and fired, rocks thrown by the
6:19 pm
protesters against police, police trucks. the clashes are not exceptionally fears, but there seems to be no sign of letting up, either. the police seem to have moved the protesters last nine or the early hours of this morning, away from the u.s. embassy, maybe a hundred yards away and are now on the outskirts of tahrir. many of these protesters today and last night are really a different crowd than were there on tuesday night when this first began when protesters were in front of the embassy and took down the american flag. many of these are young protesters who you typically see in a lot of these clashes with police, like iona craig in yemen, i cannot find one protester who had seen the trailer -- i could not find one protester who gets in the trailer for this movie that has
6:20 pm
inside is a much bigger. but everyone's eye to the movies and the reasons for being there, for being in the insults for the profit. i think was used as a trigger by conservative muslim groups here in egypt, for example, a spokesperson for the largest salafi party here in egypt allied with the muslim brotherhood, said that the film had been broadcast on u.s. channels -- which is a blatant lie. that is what is happening right now on the ground. on the political scene, mohamed morsi waited 24 hours after the initial protest on tuesday night before releasing any kind of statement. he is in brussels today on his first visit as egyptian president to europe. he spoke at a press conference about what is happening and says he condemns in the attack or any non peaceful protest and
6:21 pm
embassies, but condemned any insults to the prophet. he had a phone call of president obama and said he offered his condolences for the death of the four americans who died in benghazi, including ambassador stevens. he also said he hoped president obama would affirm the need for legal measures against those who wanted damage relations between egypt and the united states, i think hinting for the u.s. to take some kind of legal action against producers of this movie. there has also been at the same time -- the movement came from the muslim brotherhood which has called for protests tomorrow, and by mosques, peacefully, but nevertheless, protests against this movie and insults to islam and the prohet.
6:22 pm
that is really what is happening on the ground here. >> sharif abdel kouddous, thank you for being with us, "democracy now!" correspondent in cairo, egypt. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we will be joined by one of the leading islamic thinkers. his new book is called, "islam and the arab awakening." tariq ramadan will join us. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
6:23 pm
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> to talk more about the protests across the middle east, we're joined by tariq ramadan, professor of contemporary islamic studies at oxford university and visiting professor at the back of the of islamic studies in qatar. he's considered one of the most prominent muslim intellectuals in europe.
6:24 pm
he was barred from entering the u.s. for many years by president george w. bush. in 2004, he accepted a job to become a professor at the university of notre dame, but nine days after he was set to arrive, the bush a administration revoked his visa, invoking a provision of the patriot act. >> tariq ramadan is the author of a number of books including, "radical reform, islamic ethics and liberation." most recently he wrote, "islam and the arab awakening." welcome back to "democracy now!" can you talk, the latest happening right now? beginning in libya with the killing of u.s. ambassador, the protests happening throughout the arab world. we just heard about yemen, the protests in sanaa, the u.s. embassy in cairo as well. >> very, very difficult and sensitive times for many reasons. we were just celebrating or
6:25 pm
remembering 11 years after september 11 in the country here. as you are referring, there are two scenarios. one is to say what happened in libya was not in fact first connected to the movie, but connected to the killing al- libi in june. >> explain who he was. >> he was one of the leaders of al qaeda. he was killed in june. the point was people were saying there would be retaliation and choose the very same date of september 11. it might be this connection was in fact used as a symbol at the same time we're remembering what happened. adding to this, what we have here is very much people who are behind the movie. it is important to check who is behind the movie. what do they want?
6:26 pm
using the same symbol, 11 years later, just before the election to the president barack obama and the u.s. on to something which is psychological pressure by releasing this and hoping there will be reactions, a provocation? i think we have something that is very important for us, first, condemn what happened, the killing of the ambassador and what is happening in the embassies around the world. but also to understand there are people from behind the scenes who are playing on symbols, emotional politics, and pushing it to something. the second thing we have to say, and this is important because you are talking about mohamed morsi and people in islamic countries, one of the main challenges in the world is the religious credibility.
6:27 pm
how are you going to react to what is said about islam? so by attaching the prophet of islam, the reaction should be, who is going to be the guardian? you can see there is the situation or the salafists and letter lists are pushing in libya and egypt and now in yemen, so everywhere the salafist are pushing saying, "we are the guardian and we're resisting any kind of relationship to the west of provocation coming from the west." internally, it is unsettling the whole situation. in libya, tunisia, syria, egypt, the clash between the liberal lists and the reformists is something that will be part of what we have to deal with as a feature of this country. >> in the incident in libya yesterday, there appeared of the sun reports with two very
6:28 pm
separate incidents coming out a mass protest early in the evening in response to the film, and a much more coordinated military attack that occurred later in the night on the consulate itself. apparently, the attackers may have known the ambassador was in benghazi when he normally would not be in benghazi. this clearly seems to be more of someone called a blowback on the u.s. government for its support for its military support of all kinds of fighters in libya against gaddafi, including the islamic extremists. >> that is a fair point. even after the democratization process, it is clear the u.s. is not seen in a positive way and all the muslim countries. even though we have a kind of
6:29 pm
try to be recognized by the democrats -- as democrats. what happened in libya, it is clearly connected to the role of the united states when it comes to dealing with terrorists and the factions in libya. this is something that is clearly a bad perception, at negative perception. the point is how this is going to revolve when people are trying to deal with emotions and pushing for this? the islamic reference in such a way will be on two fronts. first, within the sunni tradition, the clash between the liberalists and the other trends and the salafist movement that is very much acting on it and using the popular sentiment -- >> people may not know which to me by the liberal --
6:30 pm
literalists. >> what we have is, for example, the new party in egypt or the salafi indonesia, people who in fact we call -- following the school of thought and more. and there are liberal lists were is black and what is very narrow interpretation of sources. [indiscernible] what is due for all of this over the last three years as there are within the political arena and plan the the market to of the game. one year ago the people from the party, even before quitting the party, forcing democracy is not islamic. in eight months, we enter into the political game and they got 24%, meaning this is a political power. they have some credentials and are playing with this. the perception in the west is,
6:31 pm
they're the same as the muslim brotherhood. in fact, no. even supporting the candidate who let the muslim brotherhood to put the muslim brotherhood in a very difficult to jubilation, back and supported by financial organizations coming from saudi arabia, even katar and these organizations are supporting financially. now they are in tunisia. when those entities to talking to the president he was in, "we did not know about these people before." this is to make the whole democracy situation unsettled. this is why as muslims we had to be clear on what is acceptable and what is this accepted diversity and islam. and things like yesterday and the day before yesterday are completely non-islamic, against our principles. now there is a connection between some literalists and
6:32 pm
violent extremists who want to kill and become a popular support. we have [indiscernible] the reaction of mitt romney saying, we do not have to apologize and first be clear on the fact this is our values, that his plan was symbols. barack obama in a situation where he has to condemn first what happens, then celebrate the american values. >> in your book, you really concentrate on the complexity of this enormous movement that has developed, that escapes most observers here in the west. you particularly focus on the question of whether it is wrong to consider this release revolutions occurring or whether there are more uprisings, popular movements that are expressing the desires of the people for freedom, but yet are
6:33 pm
being manipulated as a much as of controlling them from all sides, not just for the west, but the religious and other political groups within islam. >> i am happy you are saying, being manipulated from many sides, not just the west. after having studied the whole , but to tell ustell that it is wrong from many sides. this is one thing. what is irreversible and the arab world is this intellectual revolution, awakening, that we [indiscernible] people have the sentiment and political power. they feel they can do it and it is still there. let to the creek by saying,
6:34 pm
revolutions and arab spring and what i'm saying is to have a cautious optimism. and to look at what is happening. the perception in the arab world is we are dealing are having secularists against islamists. this perception is wrong. it is not just coming from the west, it is even in the islamic countries. the debate is very superficial on ideological positioning. we have to come to the truth questions about which kind of social policy, which kind of states. it is not enough to say [indiscernible] we need to know what reference. some say you cannot say what you're saying about the profit, for example. we do not have a clear understanding of all these
6:35 pm
challenges. when it comes to social justice, corruption, the role of the army -- now we're talking about mohamed morsi representing egypt. we should be much more cautious with the role of the army in egypt coupling a very important role behind-the-scenes critic rex on that issue, president morsi, a law to turn to president obama's, egypt. he made them on wednesday during an interview with telemundo. obama said he does not consider the new egyptian government led by the muslim brotherhood to be an ally. excerpts of the interview first aired last night on msnbc. >> which to consider the current egyptian regime an ally of the u.s.? >> i don't think we would consider them an ally, but we don't consider them an enemy. they are a new government tried to find its way. they were democratically elected. i think we are going have to see how they respond to this incident, how they respond to,
6:36 pm
for example, maintaining the peace treaty with israel. so far what we have seen, at least, in some cases they have said the right things and taken the right steps. in others, how they have responded to various events may not be aligned with our interests. so i think it is still a work in progress. certainly in this situation, what we're going to expect is they are responsive to our insistence that our embassy is protected, our personnel is protected. if they take actions that indicate they are not taking those responsibilities, as all other countries to when w where we have embassies, that will be a problem. katrice have the president's and the egyptian pyramid is not considered an ally, but not our enemy, either. some say could mark a dramatic shift. >> it is a spark in
6:37 pm
democratic statement. first, if he was to say egypt with the muslim brotherhood is an ally when these people are the same who are hamas and hamas is against israel, it is the end of it. at the same time, we should note the american administration is very much involved with the egyptian army. we do not talk only about political power, but economic power. what i say in the book, which is very important, it is not to underestimate the economy published economic reasons of what is happening. we of new actors in the region that are helping us on this to understand the situation from another angle. on the other side, he is saying about the muslim brotherhood, we
6:38 pm
know they are in touch with the muslim brotherhood for years tried understand what is the vision -- trying to understand what is the vision brickworks your grandfather is the founder of the muslim brotherhood. >> yes. what i am saying is in his positioning with the muslim brotherhood, what he is saying is we know they are dealing with them. the muslim brotherhood on this, if he was to say "they are our allies," he would lose credibility with them. the muslim brotherhood should be perceived as not very much western, not very much with the current obama administration. there are some questions about the muslim brotherhood when it comes to economic options and choices with the imf, world bank. i think, the economic side of political science, it is quite clear that for the time being, there is an agreement between
6:39 pm
the american administration and the muslim brotherhood to try to find a way to deal with one another and try to find solutions. this is what i am critical of what is happening with the muslim brotherhood not only political side, but the economic choice. >> and another battle in libya, your book gives a masterful recounting of the behind-the- scenes operations of france in the united states. the only pop the uprising in which they interceded directly -- the only popular uprising in which they interceded directly. could you talk about that? corning much of the oil market even before the western intervention? >> what was happening in libya -- the reaction of russia and china should be understood in the light of what happened in libya. the reaction on syria. they lost their economic interests and that access to the
6:40 pm
oil resources in libya because of what happens. they took the united nations resolution, no-fly zone, as permission for nato to go there and intervene. in fact, this was not for the sake of the libyan economic interests. barack obama was unable to go there for many reasons. he has internal crisis. there was a deal with france. france was involved when we had a new foreign minister who was helping france. this was not done for the sake of democratization in libya. it is clear now that all of the
6:41 pm
economic interest and the access to resources the secured between four countries. the first is the united states of america, france, britain, and catarrh, who is also involved in the whole thing. we need to be less naive and deal with the situation, country per country, and understanding there are challenges, there are from behind-the-scenes alliances that are now important. there's something i want to say. all of the discussion about the islamists -- and i study it in the book. we have to deal with them on the ground. remember what was said 10 years ago about the turkish leader turgut them? that is clear.nt the u.s., they do not have a problem with islamists as they are neoliberal [indiscernible]
6:42 pm
>> who are they? >> saudi arabia, even bringing. -- even rain. we did not cover this. it was translated into shia, sunni clashes. it is wrong. there's clearly a lack of democracy. we need something that is, don't tell us that it is a problem rid that is exactly what barack obama to said yesterday. it is as protecting our interests and deal with them, if not -- >> al jazeera's raúl? >> i talk about it and the boat. we have to look at the way they're dealing with this, pushing in egypt, pushing into asia, silent and bahrain. >> pushing libya as well.
6:43 pm
>> yes. al jazeera in itself, fox news channel, [indiscernible] the people in the arab world are very much supportive of al jazeera, a credible source of news. now it is much more questioned by the people. when i was in tunisia, are they running question of what did they want? i think all of this, it played a very positive role in egypt by pushing the people. but we need to look at political -- the whole region to understand there are much more questions to be asked about what are the intentions from supporting some uprisings and for getting others. >> like?
6:44 pm
>> for example, brain. and been silent, for example, about libya but what also is happening in iraq. and very much nurturing the sense of [indiscernible] a nurturing and mindset as well, doing the job of the careful, tourism is around the corner. i think this is to the questions. >> question with how the u.s. is for rain?ia and ira i think they're supporting sully the current regime. you cannot have anything happening within the petro monarchies would be too risky for the united states and our interests there. in syria, for eight runs, and this is why i say it is not all in control. in syria for eight months,
6:45 pm
president barack obama and the european administration's were hoping bashar al-assad was going to reform the regime from within but it appeared the people were more courageous. they did not want him to stay, so the return of find opposition. the driving force of the opposition in syria was the muslim brotherhood and leftists who are not supportive of the americans. they were trying to find who are the people with whom we can deal. it took eight months. now they want to change the driver. it is as if they are facing russia and china and both are in agreement not to agree on what to do. the unsettled situation in syria could be interesting for both sides. unsettled middle east in these times when people are trying to find a way toward democracy to be interesting for many reasons. for weapons to be sold strategic
6:46 pm
interests to be protected and something we're not talking about -- palestinian conflict. the people lost in this whole discussion are the palestinians. nobody is covering the west bank. it is as if they do not exist anymore. israel is silent. the illinois heard once is mubarak should stay because if he is not going to come, we would have islam's and in the muslim brotherhood and this is what -- is as if israel is not playing in the whole world. add to this a second question which is very important for the united states, but also for the european countries, the new actors. brazil, india, china, turkey, south africa, indonesia even, and russia are not actors. over the last eight years, china multiplied by seven its economic presence in penetration
6:47 pm
in the middle east. if this happens not economic turns and there's a shift to the east, the relationship between these countries and israel is completely different from the united states. and it means the challenges will be different because china is not supporting israel the way u.s. are supporting israel. we need to have all these factors in mind. i'm trying to analyze this in the book by san, "be cautious, but there is still optimism because the people now are facing challenges. what i would like, in doing in this democratic countries, [indiscernible] to find a way to do the true challenges and not the superficial political questions. >> thank you, tariq ramadan, for joining us. his latest book is called, "islam and the arab awakening." tariq ramadan is a professor of islamic studies at oxford university and visiting
6:48 pm
professor at the faculty of islamic studies in qatar. "time" magazine has named him one of the most important innovators of the 21st century. when we come back, the poverty tour 2.0. will speak with tavis smiley and cornel ♪ [music break]
6:49 pm
>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> new government data shows economic inequality widened last year. the wealthiest americans increase their share of total will buy 4.9% while the median income reached its lowest level since 1995. some 46.2 million americans were classified as living in poverty. the census shows the number of uninsured in the u.s. dropped for the first time in three years with 1.3 million people
6:50 pm
obtaining insurance. >> rick joined by cornel west and tavis smiley and what they call poverty tour 2.0. they are co-authors of the book, "the rich and the rest of us: a poverty manifesto." professor west comes from princeton university. tavis smiley an award winning broadcaster. welcome to "democracy now!" tavis smiley, tell us why you have chosen these states and what you have found. >> thank you for having us back. we have chosen the states because it is about being at the right place at the right time, with the right message. last year nine states, 18 cities, and another 20 cities on the poverty book tour, now back to these four battleground
6:51 pm
states -- ohio, virginia, pennsylvania, and florida -- to put a spotlight on this position. you take from its dismal job numbers and combine that with what juan is split up from the numbers yesterday, and you get a clear picture that poverty is a new norm. it ought to be abnormal, but it is the new american norm. we're trying to ring the bell, beat the drum, said between the labor day and election day sprint, that this issue best i get lost but in the last presidential race, three debates between mccain and obama, the words "pour" and "poverty" did not come up. to moderators are back on the stage in 2012 while america is bottoming out through poverty. we want to make sure the moderator's put poverty in the debate this year and we want to make sure the candidates address the issue and more broadly, a
6:52 pm
mixture our leaders start to make poverty a priority. >> how would you respond to maybe some of the strategists who are president of his reelection campaign saying your plan a discordant note as their time to focus on the middle- class, and to assure a victory for the president in november? >> we would say mediocrity of romney is such that it is clear obama will win rid of the problem is obama himself is no better than romney, still very much part of a system that has failed poor and working people. capitalism is not working for poor and working people in america. we have to bear witness to that and tell the truth. of course we're very sensitive when it comes to the fear of a right-wing takeover of the winehouse with romney would be catastrophic. as i have also noted, so far, obama has been disastrous for
6:53 pm
the question is, how do we acknowledge the suffering is real? not just the statistics, but the precious humanity. >> cornel west and want to ask about a profile of the valerie jarrett, perhaps the most important visor to president obama. and yet they talk about a moment where she calls you up to basically to you out. can you explain what this was about? >> i think it had to do with an interview i had given that reflected on the president and my claims that the president the would-what was the language? >> black puppet critics wall street' autocrats, black puppet. she asked me to take a back and i said i thought i was speaking the truth. then she tried to give me in
6:54 pm
line. i said i'm not that kind of negro. i tell the truth, but in the white house, cracow's, are in the house but that her to call me crazy and an american. in many circumstances, being called an american is a compliment. >> what you mean? >> i am anti-injustice in america. usually you are often viewed as being an american or anti- american reed said that as a complement. >> tavis smiley, due to the president has in some sense moved on some of these issues of wealth inequality? certainly he did appear in the earlier years of his administration to be much closer to the banking and financial communities than he has in recent months. i am wondering your assessment of the at? at least in his rhetoric, if not in his direct actions. >> he certainly sounds much more
6:55 pm
populist themes now the needed earlier in his administration. we have been very clear about the fact he made wall street a priority, but nothing of main street and not to say the side streets. said go back to what he in 2007 and 2008 when running. he said then, he campaigned on a platform of eradicating prophet in america. that was his phrase. this was barack obama saying my platform is eradicating poverty in america when iran in 2008. in 2000 a barack of a missing he wanted to raise the minimum wage to least $9.50 -- in 2008, barack obama saying he wanted to raise the minimum wage to least $9.50. they were weak on this issue. we got to go to $10 an hour just
6:56 pm
to get back to 1960's level when you adjust for inflation. we've not heard much about a living wage or eradicating poverty. we have talked only about the middle class. we have said before, you have many levels of poor. we argue the new poor are the former middle-class. yes, sounding much more populist and hitting a lot of the right themes, but at the end of the day, poverty has not been made a priority. we want a president like lyndon johnson to look at america series about eradicating poverty. it could be cut in half in 10 years, eradicated in 25. this is not a skill problem, but a will problem. >> cornel west, what you think would be the most important actions to first take? >> we are accenting the fight
6:57 pm
back. we are highlighting what is going on in chicago. stop and frisk going on, the 10,000 whistles that will be blown and many different sides today all over new york city dealing with the connection between the military industrial complex and the new jim crow. and the ways in which we can link it to quality education, quality housing, jobs with the living wage, workers having more control over the conditions of work. this is a multi-pronged fight back that we are highlighting. when we talk about poverty, it really is connection to a critique of the oligarchs and plutocrats of our day in the ways in which every day people can more and more live lives with decency and such. >> who have you been traveling with question marks with each other, for starters. but we have been traveling to the states with a small crew. we are being documented but last
6:58 pm
year we went to those nine states and 18 cities. it became a week-on pbs special. it is important for americans on radio and television and those in the media, that is why i celebrate what you do every day, but it is important to tell these stories. the moderator state to make sure that poverty is debated -- the moderators need to make sure that poverty is debated. the media has not done a good job of keeping these issues front and center. >> tavis smiley and cornel west, thank you for being with us proud of their book, "the rich and the rest of us: a poverty manifesto." [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
6:59 pm

Democracy Now
WHUT September 13, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

Series/Special. Current Events & News in the World

TOPIC FREQUENCY U.s. 38, Libya 22, Egypt 17, Us 14, Islam 12, Israel 9, United States 8, Cairo 8, Obama 7, America 7, Yemen 7, Syria 6, Tunisia 6, Benghazi 6, Amy Goodman 5, France 5, China 5, Tavis Smiley 5, Sanaa 5, Chicago 4
Network WHUT
Duration 01:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 78 (549 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 9/13/2012